Monday, January 18, 2016

Facebook's WhatsApp Is Now Free

After offering WhatsApp free for a year then hitting up users for 99 cents per year thereafter if they wanted to remain connected to the WhatsApp friend community they cultivated, Facebook is giving unlimited access to WhatsApp away at no charge.

I guess they finally came to their senses and figured they'd milked a billion users for a buck as far as they could. Most of WhatsApp messaging competitor's messaging products are available at no cost to the users so it was only a matter of time before some folks were going to start keeping their dollar.

Here is the statement Facebook issued regarding removing charges for WhatsApp.

“For many years, we’ve asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year,” reads a blog post on the WhatsApp site. “As we’ve grown, we’ve found that this approach hasn’t worked well. Many WhatsApp users don’t have a debit or credit card number and they worried they’d lose access to their friends and family after their first year.” -Facebook Spokesperson

 Facebook paid $19 billion (with a “b”) to purchase WhatsApp so the initial try before you buy for a buck allowed them to recoup some of the money they spent purchasing the App. Seeing as to how cash money rules everything Facebook is going to have to figure out how to make money with WhatsApp.

The most obvious route would be advertising, but WhatsApp spokespeople say  it’s not going to follow the lead of its parent company and pepper you with ads, or at least not ads in the way you think of them.

“Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from,” writes the company. “That could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight.” - WhatsApp Spokesperson

Industry insiders think Facebook is going to attempt to merger a relationship between users and businesses and come up with a revenue generating model supported by the businesses that would result in those businesses footing the bill.

The outcome of that is yet to be seen.

What's important now is WhatsApp is free with no strings attach for you and I

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